Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homegrown Meals

I've been slacking on taking pictures of our meals, even though we do cook with LOTS of homegrown veggies. That's because I work all day away from home, and I share cooking responsibilities with 3 other adults now. (My hubby, my mom and my brother who resides with us now)
Here's the first batch of sun-dried cherry tomatoes!

Harvest Updates

Sat, July 24
We're sun drying our cherry tomatoes, as 6 plants are waaay to many for one family to consume at once
Kabocha pumpkins were picked on Saturday too
Mon, July 26
I gave the Cucumbers a good dose of fresh compost, and it seemed to help them develop new fruits.  It's time for more pickes!
With Tomatoes coming in pretty steadily, I'm going to be making a batch of tomato sauce every weekend.
Tues, July 27
Our first edible apple of the season on the bottom;
I was trying to smell the fruit to see if it was ready and it fell off. It's still quite tart but, not as tart as a green apple
Wed, July 28
Figs are really starting to come in now! We freeze the figs, and gradually use them throughout the winter in our yogurt. We also make jam out of it and freeze it. We'll use the jam in breads/muffins. My mom had my son pick cherry tomatoes today while I was at work but, they didn't take pictures, nor did she weigh them before they ate most of it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Harvest Updates

Mon., July 19:
Lots of Tomatoes are coming in and figs are starting to ripen! Tomato sauce here we come!
Tues., July 20:
Kabocha Pumpkins were picked but, the flavor was bland. Perhaps we didn't wait long enough for them to ripen. Yes, they are green, not orange. They never turn orange, yellow or red.
Wed., July 21:
Kyohou grapes are ripening little-by-little instead of the whole cluster ripening at once. I wonder why...

I forgot to take pictures of July 22, sorry!
Fri., July 23:
Beans and Cukes are declining in production. I started seed for a second round of Cukes and bush bean seedlings are in the bed that the Daikons were growing. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garden Updates

Strawberries producing lots of runners
the White Guavas are starting to grow
It's a jungle out there!
our Hibiscus
our Herb Garden: Basil, Chives, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Amaranth, Perilla, and in the back are the Cherry Tomatoes gone wild
Sad news.....No, this is not the Primerica umbrella...we had to cut our asian pear tree down to this stump because the tree was overwhelmed with fire blight. We don't know if it will survive this but, we will keep it until next spring, hoping it will re-sprout from the top. It has been trying to re-sprout from the base of the tree but, we don't want that since it is a grafted root-stock, which is not a fruiting pear.
The Cherry Tomatoes up close!
Happy Paprika Peppers
These are "myoga" under the white guava tree. They are related to ginger but, can withstand snow. Japanese people eat the flower buds in broths. The buds have very distinct aromas that the Japanese esteem. Here's a good link to another blog describing it's uses
Blackberry bramble taking over the side of the house
Honey bees LOVE Blue Basil that we got from our bee-keeping friend, David.
Fava beans that I planted from some Farmer's Market beans. They are growing in the shade

Homegrown Meals

HG Carrots roasted, blanchedHG Green Beans, HG Tomatoes roasted, Sauteed Farmer's Market onion, HG peppers and HG Zucchini with Pan Fried Coho Salmon, and organic white rice.
Spaghetti sauce with Homegrown Tomatoes, Garlic, Paprika Peppers. It also has canned organic tomato paste, organic chicken sausages, and Farmer's Market onions. It was yummy!
Japanese style Spinach; "Gomae", made with HG (homegrown) New Zealand Spinach, gluten-free soy sauce, ground sesame seeds and agave nectar
Blanched Green Beans, ready to put some away for freezing.
Daikon Radish Leaves, these will be blanched then pan dried, and soysauce, sesame and shirasu (baby anchovies) will be added to make Furikake(a condiment for rice we Japanese love to sprinkle on hot steaming rice!) Daikon has lots of Calcium
Dill Pickles hot packed for storing away into the pantry

Harvest Updates

Our Garden probably provides us with about 60% of our total produce consumption, sometimes more. We often still buy onions, cabbage, celery and broccoli from the Farmer's Market. We also purchase tomatoes, potatoes and peppers in the winter, when we don't have them growing. (we SHOULD just stick to what we DO grow, but sometimes we like more variety)  We do buy blueberries, cherries, peaches and plums sometimes too. We're growing a peach tree (I named "Alauria") so, eventually we will have our own peaches and will not need to buy.  Blueberries have always been difficult. I have killed 2 bushes already and I get frustrated because, I do have a green thumb for just about any plant. I know they require acid, sandy, loamy soil. We just don't have acid soil, so we've amended in the pot. They never thrive, then slowly die off. Their leaves come out white or pink and never turn green. I don't know what's wrong! Anyone have any clue?

July 12th
July 14th
July 15th
July 16th

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Thurs, July 8
Daikon radishes, Strawberries, Green Onion, Cherry Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Green Beans and Blackberries

I was too busy on Friday morning and forgot to snap a pic of our harvest

Sat, July 10
6 cobs of corn, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Paste Tomato, Strawberries, lil Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans
Sun, July 11
3 cobs of Corn, Green Beans, Roma Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, tiny bit of Strawberries, Kyohou Grapes, and a tiny watermelon. I had to pick the watermelon early, the plant mysteriously withered over-night. Must have been eaten by a bug at the root. The strawberries are nearing the end of their production as they are vigorously sending runners out now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eating What We Grow

Tues, July 6th:
Daikon Radish, Radishes, Blackberries, Cucumbers and Green Beans
Wed, July 7th:
Corn, Zucchini, Roma Tomato, Cherry Tomatoes, Strawberries, Blackberries, Kyhou Grapes, Cucumbers, Green Beans and our first Eggplants of the season!
Fruits for our morning yogurt
Turkey Hamburger Steak with minced HG Carrots, HG Garlic, Farmer's Market onions and homemade Gluten Free bread crumbs. Green Beans and Carrots are HG too. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Designing our next expansion

If you've been following our blog a little while, you know that we opened up a 20' x 20' concrete area for cultivation. It used to be the drive way for our back-facing garage. (weird home design!) Basically, you have to do a 3 point U-turn in order for us to park IN the garage! We've think it's too much hassle so we never used it as a car port.  Anyways, so far the land has laid fallow because we haven't decided quite what to do. This pic below displays red where in this property the new opening is:
Below, I have 6 designs on how to utilize the new space.
The dark brown is the land for growing crops. The lighter brown is for paths.

This is the most mundane: more rectangles in neat rows...
Here, I went over-board with the key-hole design,
which maximized tilling space, but convenience is minimized
On this one I scaled back a bit, opening access paths a little more
This fourth one even less on the tillable land
This one utilized path and tillage the best, plus it is easiest for watering access. (our family's favorite)

This one is pretty good too, but the Hen House might be too big.

We'd like your feed-back on which design you like,
or even suggestions to the designs! Thanks!

Garden Updates

Daikon Radishes, regular radishes, Nappa Cabbage and some small Okra
Kabocha Pumpkin
Amish Paste Tomato, this is the first time growing them for us.
Alma Paprika and Anaheim peppers
Figs are really starting to fatten up
Blackberries ripening
Big Max pumpkins, that are not really Big. I think the compost bin is stressful for the plant because the soil level keeps sinking and the plant is hanging over the edge of it. It's a tug-of-war and I think the pumpkins are done growing as they are changing color.

Showing off the garden